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VersaGames AMA with Oscar Ramos

SourceSourceMedium
Published onPublished onMedium
DateDate10 Apr 2022

Big thanks to Oscar Ramos for hosting our AMA on his channel!

Oscar Ramos is a Youtuber whose channel is about Stocks, Roth IRA, and Cryptocurrency. Check out his channel here for more exciting updates and news in the cryptoverse!This article is a shortened summarized transcription of the AMA, so if reading is not your thing you can find the video of our AMA session here! It was a long discussion, so grab a snack and relax while our founders answer all your questions!

VersaGames IGO details

VersaGames founders AMA

Ramos: Welcome to another amazing Live with special guest VersaGames! With our special guests, the founders of this project that is coming very soon to VVS Finance. Let me say hi to Noah and Clana here, how are we doing guys?

Noah: Hi Oscar, hi everyone, doing good here!

Clana: Thanks so much Oscar for having us. I’m really excited.

Ramos: Noah, Clana, you are the founders of VersaGames, another protocol coming to Cronos. You reached out to me and told me about it and I got really excited because VVS Finance has been for a long time the number one by TVL on Cronos. Tell us first so everybody knows, what is your background, who are you guys, so the entire community knows?

Noah: Okay so let me start, we both have quite long careers in traditional finance. Me, personally I have been in the hedge fund industry for 10 years, I’m from Sweden, so I started out in Sweden for a Swedish Global Macro relative value fund there. Then I got the opportunity after 3 years to move to Asia, Singapore and I took that.

Since then for 7 years, I’ve been basically doing global macro trading. What that means is trading FX, trading interest rates, trading equity indices, looking at countries’ development, their inflations, their unemployment, their economic growth, and evaluating the different policies and making bets on where the direction is going.

A lot of that is actually transferable to crypto and it is quite amazing, now we’ve managed to find another avenue where we can actually utilize our skill set. NFT gaming combines investment with gaming, which is my true passion. I’ve always played games you know and invested in game studios in Sweden, and the economic aspects, as each game has its own virtual economy, which we are quite good at analyzing to see if it is sustainable, if they’re running a good monetary policy, and so on.

Clana: Yeah I have a similar background to Noah. Also hedge funds and trading and indeed once you’ve looked at countries and their FX, these NFT games look like little mini countries with their little token FX and their assets, kind of what we used to invest in. So I think I share in Noah’s saying; that this is a really cool time to apply these traditional skill sets to gaming and, I mean I live in video games, probably to the annoyance of my wife way too much. Playing in college and all through that time, so a big gamer and really excited to be part of this process.

Ramos: That is really cool. A question here: How did you come up with the idea of VersaGames? Probably you saw something lacking in this space with NFT gaming. So how was your idea created?

Noah and Clana: Yeah it has gone through several evolutions, it started last year when we discovered DeFi and invested in that and made good yield. Then Axie Infinity exploded and I was curious about that to see if it’s actually a fun game and if this is sustainable. So I had some old friends who played Magic the Gathering on a professional level and I had them try it out to see if they thought it was fun.

They really got into it and it kind of showed that it was something there. Like you know a true fun factor or a new experience that makes it exciting when you put on the crypto aspect. And then we saw the Star Atlas IGO on Solana, and I tried to participate in it in a few different ways. I spent a lot of time reading up on the project, trying to get into it and ended up kind of disappointed not getting any allocation. Then seeing the huge demand for it and that there is not any gameplay not even on the horizon. So we’re feeling like this is definitely a space where there is a huge demand and lack of supply, not that many live games at the moment look that promising.

The first thought was to talk to some of my connections in Sweden to see if we should start a game studio or try to invest in some games and make them convert the game into a crypto game: Integrate NFTs, and help them out with tokenomics and make a good economy around that. The more we looked at it the more we noticed, there were so many unsolved problems. We had the discoverability issue, there was no way to actually find new exciting games. You could go on Coingecko or Coinmarketcap and you’d just see graphs and market cap., you don’t get to see what the game is about, if it’s interesting, it doesn’t even capture you as a gamer. You want that more seamless experience, like when you go on the App Store or Steam to find games.

The second was how to get in. I spent a lot of effort and time trying to get into Star Atlas, following the community, waiting for when the token launched and I even bought this launchpad token, and I paid like 2000$ for it, I didn’t get the lottery, I didn’t win the ticket, and that launchpad token dumped after. It was just not a fun experience.

Generally, as an investor, it was quite frustrating if you're not an insider. You don’t get access to seed deals, the private seed deals, and you get in the public offering which in gaming has been way overhyped especially this last year. So you’re not in a good position as an investor, that was another frustration.

And then the third while talking to developers they also have concerns about NFT gaming. They felt a lot of people are here just for the money grab, you know selling NFTs upfront and then not delivering on their promises. They also had a concern that it is not a healthy environment, some of them didn’t understand why to use blockchain: Saying you can do most of this stuff already in a centralized way, so there’s a big education gap there as well.

We realized that there are a lot of problems to solve and also looking at the market, many of these projects just focus on one area. Like launchpads, they are just focusing on the token race and after that, they don’t help the games with liquidity or any further marketing or any further public outreach.

So the idea kind of born into, a little bit like should we be an NFT game publisher? We were kind of working towards trying to help smaller studios, helping them with designing the tokenomics and how to actually utilize the blockchain technology, getting onto a platform, and outreaching to gamers. So I think it is like a combination of all these three, that is what we’re talking about: the three-way marketplace.

We start from the gamers because that is what we are, we are gamers and we’re investors as well, as in this NFT gaming world the gamer is the investor. So we have the gamers, we have the investors and we’re helping the developers meet both the gamers and the investors, and that is what VersaGames is about.

Ramos: I see you’re trying to build something organic, a streamlined operation. Specifically not from a pump and dump perspective, but something more long-term where gamers use and invest in the platform, making gamers investors.

Noah: That’s a good point because I’ve seen great projects, and some of the issues they had were they raised funds from VCs and launchpads at a cheap valuation, then raised more when the hype was highest from a public round, resulting in a 100x profit for the early investors, and it doesn’t matter if the project is successful, some of them are going to cash in.

That puts a supply overhang on the rest of the investors that came in later. So we find it very nice to be able to self-fund this to this point and have everyone buy-in at the same price, even me and Clana are going to put in 100k each into this IGO, so we’re also buying in at the same price.

About the long term vision, you have to have it because this is such a new space, and I think the great games are yet to come really, you need to be able to be sustainable, to still be around once the blockbuster games are here and be able to support them.

Ramos: When you look at VersaGames.io and look at the roadmap, you guys have given us from 2022 Q2 to 2023 Q2, about 1 year, is there anything you haven’t added to the roadmap that you could share with us right now?

Noah: There’s a lot, but to some extent, we don’t want to over-promise and have to miss deadlines and also want to be flexible in the way we pivot, things are always changing.

We didn’t think we’d launch on Cronos to start with, but then we met the crypto.com team and heard their vision about how much they were going to focus on Game-fi, making this chain very friendly for Game-fi, and recently they launched their SDK, which shows that this is a great place to be in, so we pivoted to move to Cronos and we’re very happy about that.

Also initially, we were thinking about having our own DEX and NFT Marketplace, then we realized it’s probably better when you enter a new community, to work with existing players which is why we’ve teamed up with VVS instead. That’s also the beauty of blockchain and DeFi, we’re like pieces of lego building blocks, if you build together you get something more powerful.

Clana: I completely agree with Noah, the big picture ends on the timeline with NFT renting. The reason it ends there is because of the uncertainty, if we want to discuss where we see the next step after we launch, after implementing liquidity provision and starting use of the Versa token as a liquidity bridge the next step would be to help gamers with their assets.

As you mentioned earlier Oscar, every gamer becomes an investor, so they’re sitting on assets that are hard to acquire which they might treasure. If they want to try a new game which right now means you put in another large chunk of cash, or selling your current crypto assets and paying the slippage fees.

Our view from there is to find a way to streamline it, and coming back to traditional finance, it’s borrow/lending, using NFT assets as collateral, so gamers can use their 1 game asset to borrow temporarily another game asset and try it out and decide if want to commit for the long-term.

Noah: I can add to that as well, in a couple of days we’re going to launch the storefront and I’m super excited about that and it will showcase our ability to create a product and experience for the community which is awesome. Because one of my worries about this project is that I and Clana both have backgrounds in finance, not so much e-commerce or business building. So that was a worry, but we onboarded great team members who had experience with that.

What we’re talking about a lot now is liquidity service, tokenomics, we happen to focus on that because we’ve noticed a lot of game developers are good at making games but are not as familiar with defi, crypto, incentives, and tokenomics, but from our point of view, we know how to decide on these systems. Many of these game studios worry about things like how to get my NFT product out? How to get people interested in it? But once the game is out they don’t think about how to keep it sustainable, and how their players can keep making money from it, not just selling an NFT that becomes untradable or useless after.

The same thing with the tokens, some game studios don't even realize why they need to have a token, because it eases the exchange of products. If you’re only trading with NFTs, it’s hard to cash out, so it’s always important to have that medium of exchange aside from the in-game assets. This is a focus for us because we feel like we are strong in this and can help developers create more sustainable products.

Ramos: You really know your business and product which is great, there are many projects coming out now on Cronos, many devs, and protocols right now. So why did you choose Cronos and VVS finance? I’d like to know if someone recommended VVS finance, or what is the process of getting involved with this DEX?

Clana: One of the big things we see is we need more adoption. Right now NFT gaming is still very much crypto native driven, and one of the ways we believe adoption will happen is to have a platform that is very retail-focused and makes the integration of fiat money to crypto very streamlined.

It’s hard to think of that and not think of Crypto.com, they have been pioneers in bridging fiat money and crypto, you want gamers to enter easily, and be able to spend their winnings easily. That’s something they've done great with their cards and there should be more in the works. We see potentially more and more chains playing off-chain and synchronizing on-chain because the latency to play on-chain hurts the fun factor of a game.

So we see the Crypto.com and the Cronos chain as a very promising chain for mass adoption, combining that with their vision of gaming as the focal point, it was an amazing opportunity and we took it.

Ramos: That’s great. One of the big questions many people have is with all the different tokens the VVS in the vault and the CRO/VVS LP tokens, is it going to be a smooth process to buy into the IGO, how are you guys preparing for the launch on the 12th to make sure nothing goes wrong?

Noah: The VVS team is great, so there won’t be any technical issues on their part, but as you say there are a lot of steps for qualifying for the IGO, and we’re working hard on educating the community so they know all the steps and there won’t be any uncertainties on what to expect. One of them is the youtube step-by-step video guide we have made on how to participate.

Ramos: I wanna talk about tokenomics, it’s everything for a lot of people, it’s a way for investors to know if it will make them money. So 400 million token cap, $0.10 starting value. How did you come up with those tokenomics?

Noah: So to some extent the tokenomics are even more attractive from investors point of view, about 60% is for the treasury, and that 60% if ever comes to market it will be for enhancing yields and returns. We’re about building something sustainable, so we don’t want a high inflation token. We’re going to create a dashboard to show you what the health of the protocol will be. What kind of yield we’re paying out through staking, and what revenue the treasury is bringing in. The aim is to have a higher revenue than the yield we’re paying out, so ours will be a constantly appreciating token as it should reflect treasury value.

Clana: And maybe this would be a good time to say how holder’s of the Versa tokens will benefit from holding the tokens. Right after the storefront launch in a couple days and the IGO, we will get the Paladin audit done and launch our staking for Versa on our platform, where users can stake their VVS token and earn yield from the treasury. That’s going to be below treasury return on capital from investments and liquidity provisioning, so it will be a yield to Versa holders as well as rewards like airdrops. If the value of the outstanding tokens drops below treasury value, VersaGames will do a buyback, so the token will not deviate too far from the treasury, and the growth of the treasury assets which are going to be game tokens and interest earned will be mirrored by the value of the versa token. And finally I guess the last thing for the yield farmers is that you’ll be able to take Versa tokens and their favorite Games token and yield farm with that LP token.

Noah: A lot of yield farms are very predatory in the sense that they just go to the place where they get the highest yield and just dump the rewards, what we were thinking of is how to build a community of gamers that are interested in the games themselves, and would want to invest in game assets and earn a yield on it, so they keep their assets and let it recompound. We think that would be much better for the projects we partner with as well.

Community Questions

Ramos: Bunch of different projects in the pipeline and you haven’t even started guys. I love to hear that, that is great! I have more questions from the audience here:Q: As a web3 storefront what potential and value do you see VVS will bring to the launch of Versa on their IGO?

Noah: They’re bringing a lot of value! They’re helping us with this token launch with this IGO. What this means is we’re able to raise the treasury capital from the token, and then building on top of VVS, our liquidity will be with VVS. We’ll continue working with VVS and different game projects and if they also want to launch with VVS we can help make that happen. We believe in the way we provide Liquidity as a service, which means we will be bringing in a lot more TVL to VVS, and a lot more trading. Gaming projects tend to see a lot more trading than others.

Clana: We never really got into what we’re raising the money for and I think it’s important for the community to know. So the treasury capital Noah was talking about, we’re raising 2 Million, and of that 2Mil, 1.4mil will be going straight to the treasury to act as a liquidity bridge. It’s going to LP Tokens as the base for Versa liquidity and then we can issue our token to partner with game tokens and route liquidity through there. So that’s not money that will be spent but will be generating yield. Another 100k will be for Path of Survival in the private round investment that we did for VersaGames, so that is again treasury owned, and the token will mirror our treasury so that’s to the benefit of holders, and the remaining 500k is earmarked for building and development for the project.

Noah: Everything we’re putting in belongs to the community, we’re not about to take any of that money to pay ourselves salaries. What we’re building is to benefit everyone. We’re going to be invested ourselves and we believe in this long term.

Q: The question is, what is the utility of the Versa token? As far as getting it and using it later on in the storefront?

Noah: Basically what we just described. The utility will be that you can stake it, earn a yield, qualify for rewards by staking, and also mirror the appreciation of the project. You will become an owner of the project, and token value will grow through buy-backs as well.To some extent, basically what powers the Versa token is the storefront, the business model, the liquidity as a service, and by holding the token you get this whole platform and the whole diversified treasury in your game tokens. So it is an easy way for you to participate in the NFT growth fund from Cronos to start with and I think it has a lot going for it.

Q: Other different projects are already launching already there on coin market cap, that is doing something similar, or if you have found in your research something similar to what you are trying to do here. Maybe nobody is trying to do what you are trying, but you’re adding something new sauce to the recipe. What do you think about that?

Clana: Yeah that is a great point, so what we discovered early was that we had these three pillars, the gamers, the developers, and the investors. and a lot of other protocols are just focusing on one avenue on it. Only just building an NFT gaming marketplace or just building a Decentralized Exchange for game tokens or just being a discovery page having information. So we feel like by combining all three we have a much stronger offering. And there are a few products that actually combine all three, but then the biggest difference is our business model.

Because in our case, we are also a DAO so we have a treasury, so we will utilize it to underwrite game projects either by providing liquidity or as a direct investment like we did for Path of Survival in their private round. So we were thinking because of our strong background in finance, we are building a much better business model which is more sustainable and will actually drive a lot more value add than a lot of these other protocols.

We focus a lot on our financial background and our financial offering, but it’s just noting that our CTO for the project has 13 years of experience in building actual marketplaces. So while we ourselves are focused on what we see as the really underserviced aspects for developers and gamers which are the financial aspects of crypto. We do have an incredible team that is very experienced in actually building marketplaces and implementing them and making B2C products so that aspect is more than covered for our project. You will see the proof in a couple of days.

Q: Regarding the burning mechanism, I already discussed tokenomics at 400 million which is very low, when you compare it to other different projects out there on coin market cap. Have you considered a burning mechanism for VersaGames?

Noah: We have considered it and there will always be opportunities to do it if we wanted to, but we feel that we want to grow the business as the market grows, and by burning it early you kind of limit your resources to some extent. So when the treasury will buyback, it will either give back to the community or use it for a day when if it wishes to do a further investment in another game or provide more liquidity for a popular game.

So when the future is uncertain it might not always make sense to burn today and mostly burns are for controlling inflation, that is usually where it comes in. Our method of controlling inflation is by having the treasury yield, that the treasury earns, so the return of the treasury to be higher than what the treasury pays out and that’s the deflationary aspect that is why the treasury is set for growth and token mirrors the treasury. Because there won’t be that high supply pressure so we really don’t need to use the burn to counteract that.

Q: At 400 million that looks very attractive, but I noticed that MMF has a max supply of 500 million but they do have a burning mechanism. But they’re a DEX, AMM, everything, so in your case you are something different right?

Clana: It’s about emissions as well right. The rate of emissions is very different between the projects, you can see that our supply to the market of the Versa Token is very very limited. It’s 5% to start and then it is very carefully vested and locked away. There is no 300% APRs type interests that are being emitted on a regular basis, so the inflation dynamics are very moderate for the project. So we are hoping that even though Cronos users are quite used to seeing high APRs and kind of love it, so I guess we might stand out in the way that it won’t be our thing with crazy high APR, but hopefully, they can see a nice surprise chart instead.

Ramos: I think that is hitting it right on the nail, I think everybody loves a high APR but if the project is growing and people are seeing somebody who they can trust because this is exactly what we’re doing in this AMA. When people can see who is behind the project, they can buy with a better understanding of what they’re putting their money into and you’re basically starting in a couple of days with the storefront, on April the 12th with the IGO and you already have a plan in the next year coming up and of course later on when you start putting in your own money, not taking money from anybody.

Noah: We have not just barely started, we have been working on this for 6 months, we’ve been working on it and self-funding it, and the team has been really building organically for a long time so I think of it as we are coming online now. That is true, but a lot of the work has already been done in terms of creating the community, the product, and the business.

Q: I was looking at your Discord and you’re adding new roles and there’s that Paladin security, so there’s some news coming up for you guys, can you tell us a little bit more about the roles you’re adding there for community members that want to get plugged in here on your Discord?

Clana: This has for me been one of the most fun and exciting aspect of this project. Finding a way to get the community as a stakeholder of the platform. We’re building this gamer community and people are participating in creating content for us and then we want to reward those content creators. So and we’ve done it through contests, we’ve done through airdrops to active participants, we’ve given the people who have reached a certain level of social involvement with our community 2 million xVVS airdropped to each one so they can participate in the IGO and actually own a stake of what they have created through their own engagement and I think we’ve given out countless NFTs as prizes to people who made content through videos and through articles and we’re going to continue to do that.

Web3 communities are meant to be jointly shared and not like traditional platforms, where everyone does the work and then a couple of billionaires sit in Silicon Valley collecting all the rent, that is not the ethos of crypto. So we’re trying out new ways to get the community into ownership and this is one of those styles, we have some structure around people’s participation, and then that gives us also a guideline and a framework to work around rewarding the most active and the most engaged community members.

RamosPerfect, I love to hear that a lot, and I am already on the Discord and I want to get even more involved to get all those roles, come on! Well guyd I believe we have reached the end of our conversation. Noah and Clana, some last thoughts or last comments you want to have to the community?

Noah: For me, I’m getting excited about Cronos and crypto.com, all this is just the start and it is going to be amazing and we’re all in on this together and we’re going to work our utmost best to make this happen. Because this is truly a dream come true for me, and I really feel like we have a great team in place, we’re building a great community, we’re starting to partner up with great projects, and we’re really in the right place at the right time, it’s just going to be amazing.

Clana: Yeah please come join us on this journey and you know like we said we want you to help and to become a part of it and become an owner of it so a great journey and we hope you’re as excited as we are.